Entrepreneurs love to go fast.  I know I do.  As a result, we tend to go at it alone and leave people behind.  The reality is that building a leadership team is probably the most important thing you can do as a business owner.  It requires hard work, discipline and can take years to build and maintain a cohesive leadership team.

The question is always, how do I start building a team?  What does a great team look like?  Patrick Lencioni, says “the essence of a cohesive leadership team is trust, which is marked by an absence of politics, unnecessary anxiety, and wasted energy” in The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive.

I’ve been on teams that are healthy and a few that are unhealthy.  I can tell you that there is a world of difference.  When you are on an unhealthy team, you are stressed out, tired, and unproductive.  The company stops growing and nothing is fun.  A healthy team is just the opposite experience.  You are having fun, you are productive, the company is growing and there are no politics. Politics in a business are a huge distraction that causes the leadership team to lose focus.  Politics emerge from unresolved issues.

Great leadership teams need to address issues as they arise and not let them fester.  Very often small issues incubate and turn into big issues and politics. Essentially, the job of an entrepreneur is building a leadership team that is healthy, cohesive and functional.

The best indicator of a healthy team is the nature of their meetings.  Leadership team meetings should be lively and fun.  On healthy team, no one is disengaged, checking email, having side conversations, and just plain not listening.  Everyone should be in it to win it.

As an EOS® Implementer, we teach our clients a very specific meeting agenda to help facilitate healthy meetings, where you are solving issues on a weekly basis.  Nothing should be ignored that turns into a source of politics later. Part of those meetings, we review a Scorecard.

Healthy leadership teams hold each other accountable for their results.  What’s the point of a team if it’s not performing and executing towards the vision of the organization? Lastly, great leadership teams know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

We use The Trust Builders™ in the EOS process.  The process includes such things as Kolbe, DISC, StrengthsFinders, Myers-Briggs along with personal history exercises.  Knowing how each team member solves issues, naturally strives to take action is an important step to engage in healthy debate without it becoming personal.

3 Steps to Building a Leadership Team

  1. Intentionally build team trust with The Trust Builders™
  2. Have great meetings with the team
  3. Know every team members strengths and weaknesses

What are you doing to build a great leadership team?